Cheap PC Gaming: Orcs Must Die

Over the previous few weeks of eating, drinking and gift giving I’ve been playing the appropriately festive Orcs Must Die. This game is particularly festive because it… is training for defending your presents from onslaughts of- ok fine, it’s not festive at all, really, but shooting orcs is fun no matter what time of year it happens to be. Even more fun, however, is placing spike traps and watching as the orcs gormlessly wander onto them, getting riddled with holes in the process.

[drop]That’s where Orcs Must Die is deepest. I’ve tried out a great many different ideas for trying to maximise death with combinations of different traps. Adding archers behind barriers to pick enemies off as they wade through tar pools to slow them down is fairly effective, whilst watching them get ripped apart by arrows that shoot from the wall and crushed by a spiked falling ceiling is just as entertaining as you’d imagine. I personally think I’ve found my favourite layout for a 3×3 space (though now I’m thinking about it I have thought of at least 3 different ideas that are probably superior) involving a mixture of tar traps (slow enemies down), spike traps (spikes spring up from the floor), barriers and archers. I can even add arrow traps in the walls for some more firepower should I have the funds.

That’s not all there is for you to do – the game’s camera sits in a typical third person position and you’ve got an automatic crossbow (like a machine gun) to take out the orcs from a distance. Whilst it is automatic it’s very inaccurate with sustained fire, so I’d recommend taking single shots or short bursts at range. It’s excellent crowd control, too.

Also available in your arsenal is a bladestaff, for the hopefully rare moment when a little up close stabbing is necessary, and a few magic items that use up mana. These include the wind belt, which lets you essentially force push enemies or pick one up and throw him, and flame braces, which throws fire balls and can place flame walls.

There are a ton of levels to utilise your traps and weaponry on, all of which will test your planning and funding, the former of which will hugely affect the latter, as killing orcs will give you more cash to spend on traps. A sudden change from a tight, corridor-based level to a wide open level will have me flustered for a second or two before I start looking for a bottleneck and fortifying it as best as I can. Some won’t give you an obvious bottleneck, or will give you two bases to defend without an easy way to run all the enemies through one area, forcing you to split your resources and frantically dash between the two with your trusty crossbow.

[drop2]Later in the game you’ll also access weaver cards, which let you buy buffs for your character at the beginning of every level thereafter. You’ll have to choose the card type (either weaponry or traps) and then use your cash to buy the buffs you want. This can be helpful but don’t spend all your money or you won’t have any left to buy traps. Speaking of which, you’ll have to choose which traps you want, too. This isn’t too much of a problem early in the game, but further in there are more traps to play around with and you’ll have to choose the ones you really need to stuff into your limited slots at the beginning of each stage. You may even want to look around the level before you choose.

So what have we learnt? Orcs are festive, they’ll happily run into obvious traps and you can get automatic magic crossbows. We also learnt that Orcs Must Die is an excellent game, and is just £12 on Steam. It’s also available on OnLive for the the same price if streaming your gaming is more your thing. Minimum system specs are through the Steam link.



  1. Brilliant game, it’s dropped to £2.99 twice in the last few months so it’ll probably do the same in the next sale, but that won’t be until spring I don’t think.

    • I picked it up cheap the other day too :) Fantastic game for that price, I’d say it’s worth the £12 but I never buy anything full price on Steam.

  2. I have meant to get this but it just does not compare to how much i want Serious Sam 3.

    • and Postal 3

    • Drop everything and get SS3, you won’t regret it :-D

  3. I love this game. Absolute gem. Get it NOW.

  4. Are Orcs the new Zombies!

  5. Wow is there any way to report spam or bots? Because what’s above is the most obvious example of both…

    • Removed now, we check the comments regularly but when they are posted at 4:30am then we can take a bit longer to get to them! Damn spam bots :).

  6. Brilliant game, looks nice and fun to play although I do find it getting increasingly hard, especially the first few waves of a level.

  7. For some unknown reason, Steam gave me a free copy of this over christmas (I had just brought Mass Effect 1 & 2 though) and had a brief bash on it. Quite good fun, but as I was playing on a laptop the tocuhpad was no subsitute for a decent mouse. I’ll have to plug a USB rodent in an give it another crack.

  8. I really, really, really want this game. But like most games it seems, It’s not for Mac :( Don’t see why. It’d also make a great psn/disk game (depending on how many levels).

  9. This game + 360 controller + PC = Hours of destructive holiday fun.

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